By Tanu Henry

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-12) says if she wins the U.S. senatorial race this year to succeed Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who passed away in September last year, she would bring the voice, insights and perspective of a Black woman to the U.S. Senate.

During a virtual roundtable with Black journalists in California on Jan. 30, Lee said, as Senator, she would be “one out of 100”, bringing her lived experiences as a Black woman and a progressive to the body.

She would also be able to include activists and advocates for housing and other issues in the process of drafting legislation.

“They will be able to get to Washington, D.C. and raise their voices. It is important to let people know that to make this democracy work, they have to be involved,” said Lee.

“The more people that have perspectives that are not represented in the Senate will be there with me in the Senate,” added Lee.

To win, March 5 primary voters would have to elect Lee over her three closest competitors: California reps Katie Porter (D-CA-47) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-30) – and well as Republican Steve Garvey, a former first baseman for the LA Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.

The three other African Americans in the U.S. Senate are men: Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia).

Lee said, as Senator, she would also have the ability to invite witnesses to testify during senatorial hearings.

“It is selecting people who have perspectives that have not been heard for years — or never – in the Senate,” said Lee. “I would ask them and find a way to get them to Washington, D.C., to share their experiences about why the legislation would help to make their lives better.